When is a Trend Just a Fad Waiting to Die?
Posted by Jennifer on February 10, 2009
Virtualization, cloud computing, grid computing, outsourcing all promise more efficiency, less costs and easy ways to go green. I’m told these technologies are the wave of the future. If true, why are so many AFCOM members I talk with waiting to begin the transition?
I’ve been in this business for more than 16 years and seen trends come and go (and I’m not talking about Rubik’s Cube, Cabbage Patch Kids or the “Rachel” haircut from Friends).
Industry experts used scare tactics that literally shattered the glass house. I recall headlines and articles about the death of the mainframe and how client/server technology was going to make the mainframe obsolete. Operations managers bought into this theory, and the modern data center now houses hundreds of servers. Ironically, these servers sit alongside a mainframe computer – the old battle axe that just won’t die. That is part of the reason we are dealing with space, power and cooling, and storage issues today.
But how do you cope with these problems? Using the technologies I mentioned earlier seem like a great solution, but are we really ready to let go of the control we have over our own data? Take outsourcing. If done right, outsourcing certain data center applications can be a great, easy solution to part of this problem. However, I’ve read articles that say enterprises are actually outsourcing their entire data center, and this does not sit right with me. It puts the power of what happens to your data into the hands of an entirely different organization. Protecting your data is the most important thing you do. For most of you, it has taken many years of implementing new technologies and putting processes in place to ensure your data is safe at all times. The same theory can apply for grid computing, virtualization and cloud computing. It is fine to use these technologies, and in many cases you would be smart to do so; however, you must be careful that they do not in any way harm the integrity of your data. Selecting the correct vendor will help you make the right decision.
So where do you stand? Is virtualization a reality for your data center? Have you started to research the value of cloud computing or outsourcing? And are these trends going to stick, or will they be gone along with floppy disks and reel-to-reel tape within a few years?
I really can’t answer that question. I have to go now and put on my legwarmers. I can’t be late for my date at the roller rink. We’re supposed to watch a movie on his Betamax afterwards, but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen….